Archive for April 14th, 2009

That’s not my Door

It’s Spring. And that means most likely I can be found standing by the Toy, clutching a random tool, sobbing staring numbly.

After running errands all over creation. And finding out that the horse had thrown a shoe (a very new shoe, thanks).  And going to a spa in horse / car / caching clothes to pick up some make up [can we say unwelcomed? You’re welcome Mom] . I pulled the Toy out of the garage.

Good Friday’s Mission: figure out what is wrong with the window mechanism in the driver side door.

The part I was assuming would cause me irrational levels of anger be troubling was where I tried to unscrew the rusted screws and hammer out the pins holding both the window handle & the door release handle.  BUT I have learned a few lessons along the way so I got out the ol’ PB Blaster and blasted those rusty, nasty, disgusting screws. Take that! I’m prepared! Know what? It worked!

So screws removed and pins hammered (easily) out of the various handles I began to gentle remove the door panel. Suprisingly enough it came off easily. And the reason my window made such horrible rattling noises? It wasn’t on / in / whatever the track of the lifting mechanism. Yes. For 18 years I’ve driven that car around with the window rattling to wake the dead because it was off the track. Ok, so the dampening material around the opening is threadbare too, and some of the padding inside is pretty much all but gone,  but the big problem was the track <more on this fiasco later>.

HOWEVER, that wasn’t the big discovery. The big discovery was that the inside of the driver’s door panel was baby blue. I had a horrid moment when I thought, “Oh dear lord! My car was blue and the previous owner got wild and crazy and changed the color.”  And then I realized that I was sitting in a car that was nearly stripped down to the metal and all the other metal (floor pans, cabin, even the engine compartment) was black. And that meant one thing  – THAT WAS NOT MY DOOR! No wonder my poor car has always had such an attitude. She’s been running around with a salvaged door. Judging by the giant dent in the inside of the door, it must have seen some tough times. So not only is the door a salvage door, it’s a beaten up salvaged door that was never properly painted.

SATURDAY <because these things never take 1 day>

And back to the door panel itself. The MDF that it consisted of was nasty disgusting barf-inducing. While my sense of cleanliness and order isn’t exactly what I’d call highly developed, I was not keen on putting something  that was A) warped B) busted C) covered in black fuzzy stuff back onto my vehicle.  That left me no choice, I had to make a new door panel.

A brief trip to lowe’s to secure some clean MDF board, a mid-way trip to Walmart to secure staples (how can I own 2 staple guns and be completely out of staples?) a few minor distractions caused by general mayhem and confusion and I had a new door panel. The only problem was (at this time) that I didn’t have any extra marine vinyl laying around. Yes, I know you are shocked. Possibly as shocked as I was. So I did what seemed <at the time> sensible and decided to re-use the old stuff.  You know what? After loads of years and exposure to the elements, vinyl gets brittle fragile annoying on my nerves.

So, to recap.

  • New MDF panel taken from old MDF panel for template
  • New batting
  • Old vinyl
  • New springs Jury-rigged for handles because there were none in the driver’s side door.

And now for the big moment. You know, the one where I put it all back together and it fits? Yeah….

After installing the 500 door clips onto the new door panel and making sure all was still secured I attempted to put the panel on the door. And it did not fit. Nope. Maybe 1 out of 5 of the clips corresponded with an opening. **&&#@%$^?!$!! How did that happen? I took the template from the old door panel. As I sat there, on the floor of the garage, trying to not rip the door itself from the car retain my dignity I had to admit defeat. I wasn’t sure where I’d gone wrong, although I suspect the warped nature of the old MDF may have had something to do with it, but I’d gone WRONG again.

So I did what I usually did. I had a moment. And then I got that *(*%!$&^%#)!!_I*&*^% panel back on as best I could until I could make it work properly. Tomorrow is a new day.

REFOCUS

Having worn out my interest in the door issues, I went back to something way more important. That’s right, building the box for my new speakers. Because in the grand scheme of things, nicely paneled doors are fine, but what I really need to make the days ahead more pleasant is music. And I had lots of excess lumber sitting down in the workshop area of the basement.

First off, make a template of the shelf leaving room for the differential hump. And nothing in this car is square or plumb so while my template may look wonky, it fits the car.  From there it was time to make the top piece to which the speakers will actually be mounted.  And before anyone asks; No I did not come up with this brilliant plan myself. I found it online. And if I can make it look half as good as the ones in the photos online, it was be awesome! So after cutting out circles with a jigsaw in a cobbled together work area I was ready to put in the bars that protect the speakers from any parcels I may choose to throw behind the seats.  A little elbow grease later (good thing I had a new blade in my hacksaw) and I was nearly ready to mount the speakers. Sweet!

MONDAY: Because I don’t know how to relax

Having kept my mechanical support team in the loop about the window developments I was somewhat hesitant to just leave the window sitting in the rail without actually being secured. Mostly because when it shook loose again I wouldn’t have anyone to complain too.  So I sucked it up and resolved to go ahead and fix it the right way. Unfortunately the remedy required that I pull the regulator out of the door. Which, thanks to a healthy dose of PB Blaster, wasn’t too difficult to unscrew. The difficult part came when I tried to extricate it from the door without getting decades of goo all over me.

And that’s where I stopped. Because scrubbing that thing off with a toothbrush and Simple Green at 10:00 p.m. didn’t sound like much fun.

More to follow. There’s always more to follow.

chris on April 14th 2009 in Vehicles